How to be an introvert and thrive in an extroverted industry (without losing your damn mind)

Warning: Rant ahead.

Listen, I’m not a flaming misanthropist or anything, but people are such a pain sometimes.

Fine, I am a flaming misanthropist, but bear with me because I’m bearing with you, okay?

Like, some days I look up from a transcript of an interview I’m working on with some self-involved starlet flogging some serum or other and at the poor sods around me in the office, and I think: Damn, can’t I just do a Mr. Robot on these idiots and be done for the day?

But here’s the catch. The writing I do – which I love, thank you very much – entails small-talking with a bunch of truly insufferable industry folk (mixed in with some very nice ones I consider personal pals.) More often than not, I finish a press presentation feeling as drained and dried up as the pips used to make the Pinot Noir I need to wash down the day with …

Sadly, there’s really no two ways about it: To make it you have to fake it. For fellow introverts looking to game the system, here’s a quick-and-dirty run-through of what you need to do to “pass” as normal:

1.) There are the sympathetic, awkward anti-heroes in the vein of Rami Malek, and then there are the truly sociopathic Norman Bates of the world.

You always, always want the sheeple around you to think you’re the former sort of introvert. To do that, you need to Make Eye Contact and Nod every 15 seconds whenever someone’s speaking to you, so they think you’re Listening, Observing and Empathising.

2.) I’ve found it useful to bookmark vintage vids of Princess Di in her prime. Make no mistake: She’s a master manipulator, that one. Practice her eyelash-ey doe-eyed murmur in the mirror every night, five reps per set.

3.) When all else fails, make up some story about an ailing granny (sheeple are suckers for filial piety), then excuse yourself from polite society … to freedom, Netflix, a good book and Bourbon in bed.

See? Easy-peasy. Toodles, have “real” writing and half an episode of Scream Queens to attend to. Cheers to being a fully functional introvert!


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